What is the minimum viable human brain? If our brains are indeed highly-redundant scale-free networks, would it be possible to eliminate a precisely targeted 99% of neurons without significant degradation? Can we simulate 1% of a brain on today's supercomputers? How about emulating an existing brain? Do animals have the raw hardware to match or exceed human intelligence? Can we download human 'software' into modified animals instead of machines? Are we already being simulated?
This would keep me up at night too.
While not directly comparable, as these are brains with massive problems, you don't remove half just for the fun of it, it's still a testament to the resilience and redundancy of the organ.
The way I see it, the Human Brain increases its efficiency (Assuming the 10% Brain Efficiency Myth is true) in such cases, to be able to do all the work that otherwise an entire Brian would have done.
I'm curious what would happen if we were to somehow gradually disable parts of the brain, ensuring all functions of the Human Body are still intact, and then suddenly bring all of it back.
To answer your question, I'd imagine that it likely depends on the timescale. People with TIAs have decrease in function that lasts minutes to hours, and on return of proper bloodflow, might take days to fully recover. You might see this as people who completely lose speech during the TIA, and then have word hunting for several days.
A brain that adapted to gradually diminished function, say as a result of microvascular changes, over the course of months to years would likely experience the same debilitation if there was a sudden permanent change.
It is not. It's one of those things that qualifies as "Not Even Wrong".
About 50% of the examples have above average IQ (he says).
I'm wondering what he lacks that is not outwardly apparent from his job and family life:
Everyone with a biologically normal brain has potential to use it for sophisticated abstract thought in all kinds of ways... or they can (and for the majority do - not judging) spend their whole life not using much of that potential at all. Does this man have less of that potential? is he actually operating on maximum capacity right now as a civil servant?
Interestingly someone took it upon themselves to reclaim these images in 2012...
Only to get retracted in 2016.
What we have here is far more extreme: massive cortical tissue loss and compression, bilaterally. His striatum looks completely gone. There are many well studied and documented patients with far less tissue loss who suffer major cognitive and learning deficits. That makes this case here remarkable to me.
What if it's you? Or me? How would we know without a brain scan? Would it matter? Would it change the way you think about yourself and stop you trying?
Probably best to never find out!
For decades now, I have been haunted by the grainy, black-and-white x-ray of a human skull. [...] The image hails from a 1980 [...]
Anyway to actually trace back that patient? Do we know who he is (I would like to read about his story and daily life; nothing creepy).
Do we know if he/she is still alive??
The article on absent cerebellum says 50% of neurons are there, clearly a smaller cross-sectional area is missing but this statement serves to increase the magnitude of the issue to the layman ... but in the article where it appears most of the cerebellum is present this key point on brain structure isn't noted; that would reduce the apparent magnitude of the injury.
That may be happenstance, or otherwise unintentional, of course.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14585564 and marked it off-topic.